Steelers Week 12 Turning Point: Ben To AB On Final Drive

In a game that had  five total lead changes and remained close for its entirety, there were plenty of important plays that turned the tide of the contest for each side.  To find the final and most significant turning point of the game we need to fast forward to the final possession of the game.  The Pittsburgh Steelers defense held strong and gave the offense one last chance to win the game before heading into the overtime. The score was tied 28-28 and the Steelers offense took the field on their own 30-yard-line with 17 seconds left on the clock and three timeouts remaining.  For a lot of teams, this situation would typically constitute a conservative approach and a play for overtime.

In the typical Ben Roethlisberger “gun slinger” fashion the Steelers came out throwing and attempted a pass down the left sideline to wide receiver Antonio Brown but the pass was thrown just a second too late and Brown ran out of room and was not able to stay in bounds. But then the referees huddled and almost in a look of total confusion signaled that it was in fact a catch.  Upon instant replay and further review the catch was confirmed and Steelers fans all around were once again amazed at what Brown had done.

With the play only taking 4 seconds off of the clock the Steelers now had the ball on the Green Bay Packers 47-yard-line with 13 seconds remaining.  The next play Roethlisberger would again find Brown down the same sideline for a 14 yard gain before stepping out of bounds at the 33 yard line.  After a reception from running back Leveon Bell for a loss of 2 yards the Steelers were ready to attempt a game winning field goal from the 35-yard-line.  Steelers kicker Chris Boswell would then come out to hit a 53 yard field goal as time expired which will go on record as the longest field goal of his career and longest since 2014 for any Steelers kicker.

The key play to the drive was Brown’s 23 yard catch to start things off as it not only got the Steelers into Green Bay territory, but also gave the team a big boost in momentum as the catch will surely go down in his career highlight tape as one of his most amazing. The ball was thrown across his body and there seemed to be no room left in the field of play.  To most people watching, the talk of the catch was centered around Brown’s excellent foot control as he was able to drag a foot during the entire process of the catch.  This is something that we see on a weekly basis from “Tony Toe Tap” and I completely agree with the praise that this has gotten.

After watching this play a few more times I am even more impressed with how he caught the ball.   With a catch like this there is zero room for error when controlling the ball.  Brown was heading out of bounds almost simultaneously as his hands touched the ball.  He was able to control the ball instantly as it touched his hands and there was no bobble at all.  To me, this was the most impressive part of the catch in the situation.

Boswell came up huge with the kick to win the game but in this case it was Brown’s final drive heroics that I think warrant most of the credit to give the kicker the chance.  Brown finished the game with 10 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns and once again proved to be the Steelers best player and bail them out once again when it was needed.

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